Thursday, October 3, 2013
"Mommy...why's your butt so big?"
My three year old daughter comes up with the craziest questions. I really never know what she's going to say next. For example...the other day she asked me if I knew what a "hooker" was. Before I could recover from the shock of her question she let me know that Captain Hook has one on his clothes. Oh....a HOOK. Phew! She really is a constant source of entertainment!
One of her more recent questions has stuck with me. Our conversation went something like this...
L: Mom...why is your butt so big?
L: Your butt...why is it so big?
Me: Ummmm because it's a muscle...aaaaaannnnndddd I exercise a lot.....soooo I have a really big strong muscle there.
L: Oh. Okay....I'm going to go do some exercises.
If she had asked me the same question a year I ago it probably would have hurt my feelings. I probably would have changed the subject. I'm not proud to admit that, but I would have avoided her question all together. A year ago my answer to that question would have been self deprecating...which is why I would have kept it to myself. It's always been important to me to be a good example to my children when it comes to having a healthy body image....which was pretty challenging when I wasn't feeling great about my body.
Over the past year I've gained a new respect and appreciation for my body. Lifting weights has helped me to reach my goals appearance-wise, but it's also given me a new perspective. Now I take pride in my body for what it can do. I'm amazed by my body's ability to heal, grow, change and adapt. This new perspective made it possible for me to answer my daughter's question about my butt in a positive way. It is big! It is a muscle. It's a very strong muscle actually, and I'm proud of it because I've worked hard to make it strong.
I have a lot of friends who are in the same boat I was in last year. Many of them are fellow mothers who are struggling with their post pregnancy body image. So...for my friends and anyone else who needs to hear it....
Your body is amazing. It has the ability to heal, grow, change and adapt. Think of all of the things your body has been through! You are stronger than you know, and you have the ability to become even stronger. If you're not happy with the way your body looks right now, that's okay. Just be kind to yourself...be patient with yourself. Don't beat yourself up, or dwell on things you could have done differently. If you want to be in better shape, please don't go on any crazy crash diets or buy into any "miracle pills". Chances are they will do more harm than good. Just make sustainable changes to your life....make healthy choices when you eat. Find a form of exercise you enjoy...maybe give strength training a try ;) Be patient with the process...think "life long fitness" not "bikini by summer". Your mindset is SO important. Try to focus on the immediate benefits of working out and eating healthy...forget about the numbers on the scale (actually...a measuring tape and taking progress pictures work so much better than the scale...it can tell you is how much you weigh...not how many inches you've lost!). I know it's easier said than done, but please try to focus on your health and not your appearance. You deserve to feel good and live a nice long healthy life. That is all ;)
- Christopher Robin - Pooh's Grand Adventure